Is your life balanced and are you doing what is important to you? I think BALANCE is one of the key words that is so very crucial for well-being for all of us. I love my life, most of the time. But when I get out of balance with what I truly want I feel my energy drain away and feel discontent. Does this mean we only do what we want to do and not take into consideration our loved ones and our commitments? Of course not.But it does mean that we probably should pay attention to our feelings and our body to help us know if we are in a state of creating our own very special balance that makes us most happy.
First of all, I think deciding what makes us happy and at peace is a good first step. Most of us want to be doing what we feed we are here for and what brings us joy. I use a very simple pie exercise with my clients to help them identify what is important to them and what it is that they really want in their life. Here is the basic exercise:
Create Your Life – “Easy as Pie” 1,2,3
- Decide what your favorite pie is, because metaphorically this is what you will be creating your most favored life. Draw a circle to begin. (You can add crust if you so choose and have a few food items that are in your pie that you put to the side for fun. For example: Some lemons for a lemon pie. Or maybe peaches for a peach pie. Or for an alternative pie you can do cheese for a cheese pizza). The center of the pie is left blank and clear for writing in.
- Cut (draw) your pie into pieces that correspond with what you most want to see happening in your life. Each piece of pie should represent in size how much of that you want in your life. (Maybe you want to have lots of time spent with your family, so you would draw a larger piece for this desire.Or maybe you want to have more fun in your life. So you draw a piece that represents how much you need of this.) Write inside of each pie piece what it is that you want in your life.
- What do you see? Take a look at your pie and it’s pieces. Is this the way your life is now? Are there some things you need to add that are not there that must be there for this time. What first steps can you take to make your current life look more like the one you desire.
I recently did a similar kind of activity with a child client and found that I had some current parts of my life that were not even on my pizza pie! It was an eye opener that I needed to re-look at some activities that no longer were making me happy in the current format. In this case a transition of making this activity one that I do less until my commitment has been fulfilled made sense. I did find that when I did draw a small piece for this activity, I began to remember what I really liked about this volunteer work. In this instance, it was more about how much time I was putting into this activity.
You might consider putting your pie up on display. What we look and see each day can help remind us that this is what we desire and that it is possible to step by step reach this lovely place that resonates with us. When we focus on what we want it is more possible to make it happen.
It is also noteworthy that we do have different seasons of our life. Times when we may seem un-balanced but maybe we are were we need to be due to life’s circumstances. But making room to shift a bit and make room for some things that bring us some personal joy as well can be helpful. An example could be maybe caring for an ill spouse or elderly parent. Or it may be we must work an extra job due to some financial debt. It may be necessary, but we can still find some time for us.
In addition, there are times that we have made a decision that we are going to do something that we want that will constitute a rather large slice of our pie. It too may appear unbalanced. But it is a balance we have created for what we want in our life. And of course this is one of the keys, to create a life of what we want and deem as important.
We can also re-cut our pie when we need to. What we want will shift and change as time goes by. We have the power to build the life we desire with it fitting for our “now”.